I drafted this post while on a plane earlier today. I've gotten interrupted five times while trying to post it - once to find a small blankie that my five-year-old daughter always sleeps with, once to remind our three-year-old son that it's bedtime, and three times to calm our sweet Taiwanese-American girl when she cried out for "mama," checking to make sure I was still here. (Oh, adoption, I love you, but my heart hurts that our youngest hasn't always had a mama she can trust to be there.)
Want to know something about those interruptions? I cherished every. single. one. Now, on to the post to explain why...
I hoped to connect with others passionate about family ministry this week while I spoke at the pre-conference and then hung out for the main conference of D6. I did the pre-conference part yesterday, and it was fantastic.
Truly, D6 is an amazing conference in which people serving in all areas of the church – with children, youth, adults, people with disabilities, married folks, singles, two-parent households, single-parent households, married parents, unmarried parents, and the list goes on – join together in the conversation about what we can do to equip families to live out Deuteronomy 6, including these verse from that chapter:
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart
and with all your soul and with all your might.
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.
You shall teach them diligently to your children,
and shall talk of them when you sit in your house,
and when you walk by the way,
and when you lie down,
and when you rise.
You shall bind them as a sign on your hand,
and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.
You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
I hope to return to D6 again in the future. No other conference, in my opinion, is as rich and deep and biblically focused as it is.
But, as I write this, the main conference is going on, and I’m on a plane home.
Because my husband has a nasty cold. My oldest child had a fever yesterday. My youngest isn’t too keen on the mom she’s only known for two months going MIA. Thankfully, my son is doing well with it all, but he’s feeling the effects of everyone else and – quite frankly – I was homesick for all of them before I found out how life was going at home.
And while I can have that conversation about how to best equip families with special needs another time and while others can have that conversation without me, no one else can be wife to Lee and mom to Jocelyn, Robbie, and Zoe. My husband could have made it all work back home without me, and he didn't ask me to leave. I just knew I needed to when I considered that my choices were to stay and talk about how to best minister to families or to go home and minister to the family that is mine and that needs me.
While I wish I could finish the trip I had planned, I’m thankful that God has made it clear where I need to be and where the place of my first ministry is.
I don’t have to go home. I get to.
I'd also like to add that I'm grateful for the D6 team who hospitably welcomed me and supported me through the sessions I led and who graciously helped me rearrange my plans to return home early. They don't just talk the talk; they walk the walk.